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What kind of sleep hole have we dug?

I’m really starting to think that we’ll never sleep well again.  From the beginning Adam and I agreed that we didn’t believe in letting Aaron “cry it out” at night – we didn’t want him to think we were abandoning him or that we didn’t care. And so for the first ten months, nearly nine of which I was breastfeeding a few times at night, Aaron slept in our bed (or in the co-sleeper bassinet attached to the bed) and we were all just fine with the night wakings (it was just part of the deal). Then at ten months we transitioned him to the crib in his room and one of us got up in the middle of the night for a nighttime bottle, after which Aaron usually went back to sleep.

At around 13-14 mos we had a couple of rough months where Adam (nearly always) had to take Aaron downstairs to rock in the stroller to get back to sleep in the middle of the night. We chalked it up to teething and growth spurts and, finally, at around 16-17 months he started sleeping through the night most nights.Yonked.com - What kind of sleep hole have we dug?

Aaron has never been a fantastic sleeper – his natural wake-up time is 5:00 am (5:30 if we’re lucky), no matter which time zone we’re in. He often resists naps; we’re now down to one 90 min-2 hr nap a day.  But some nights are worse than others.  Here’s what last night looked like:

2:15 am: I wake up to faint cries of “mommy, mommy,” which I ignore for about 15 min, hoping he’ll go back to sleep. He doesn’t.
2:30 am: I go get Aaron out of his crib, retrieve the binkys he’s thrown on the floor (he has to sleep with two – one to suck and
one to hold), and sit down with him in the glider chair in his room. He’s screaming at this point: milk, mommy, no. Milk, milk. Down, down. Stairs. Daddy. Mommmmmmmy. As if I wasn’t holding the squirming blubbery ball right on my lap. And oh yeah – he must’ve had a slight nosebleed while sleeping (his first). I yell to wake Adam up and he comes in to give me a hand with some saline nose drops and wrestling a noseblow out of the very unhappy kid.
2:30 am – 3:20 am: Adam goes back to bed – he can sleep through anything. Aaron and I wrestle in the chair, him squirming and trying to get down off the chair while screaming and me struggling to keep him on my lap. Every so often he throws the binkys on the floor in protest, and after about 5-10 minutes of leaving them there I pick them up, since I know full well he’ll never get to sleep without them. He sucks one and holds the other for a while, then starts to protest again, and in a blink they’re back on the floor. I manage to head that off at the pass a few times but he gets the throw in a bunch of times.

3:30 am: I’m desperate to pee. So I put a screaming Aaron down in his crib, with the binkys, and walk away, promising him that I’m coming back.  When I get back I realize that taking him back into the chair would be too much of a reward (and no guarantee that he’ll calm down and not squirm for another hour), so I decide to lie down on the floor next to the crib.
3:30 am – 4:10 am: The floor is hard. I’m miserable. Aaron is still screaming, occasionally jumping up and down to emphasize his point. The binkys are mainly in my hand because his mouth is wide open screaming anyway.
4:10 am: Beyond exhausted myself, I ask Aaron if he’s ready to sleep with mommy in the chair. He says yes, so I pick him up, give him the binkys and rock him. It doesn’t take much and he seems to be out.
4:25 am: I gently get up and put Aaron in the crib. He awakens the minute his head hits the mattress. Screaming ensues.
4:30 am: I give up and take Aaron into our bed.  He conks out.  Adam is snoring.  I am now wedged between the kid and the cat and wide awake.  Seems like a good time to write a blog post.

So now I’m really not sure what to do. Clearly it would be better for everyone if we all got more, and more consistent, sleep. But he’s a smart kid and I worry even more now that if we just let him cry that he’ll think we just don’t care.

I’m off to the Evo Conference this week for three nights so maybe Adam can stomach a few nights of crying which could right this ship. I certainly can’t handle it, so I think if we’re going to try it it will have to be when I’m out of the house.

Anyone have any advice for getting better sleep out of a nearly 22 month old? We’re all ears.

Second summer

I can hardly believe we’re starting Aaron’s second summer. As I sat yesterday watching Adam push him on the swings in the playground, it seems nearly inconceivable that a year ago Aaron wasn’t even walking, and now the playground (“paawk”) is a major fixture in our lives.

Aaron is such an outdoors boy; maybe that’s true of many kids, or many boys, but he sure didn’t get that desire from us, the indoor geeks. And his skin is so fair (and his parents have both had skin cancers removed), so now I live in high anxiety as I worry daily about his sun exposure, whether the nanny used the sunscreen (and liberally enough), where his hat is.

He always seeks out the big kids at the park as well as the bigger play structures, though gets a bit intimidated when thinking about going down the bigger slides. He also hates to have sand or dirt in his shoes, and god forbid he’d be barefoot in the sandbox – in that regard he’s exactly like his mom.

Here’s a video of Aaron going backwards up a slide for the first time.  He tried a bunch of times before he made it.

From Mama to Mommy

It seems that Aaron is growing exponentially – every day there are a bunch of new words, new crazy antics, and new attitudes (“no, no no!”).  But the most surprising of all is that suddenly, in the span of the last three days, I’ve gone from being “Mama” to “Mommy.”  I think I call myself Mommy most of the time, and Adam calls me that to Aaron too, so that’s where he’s getting it from – but it’s still surprising, and a bit bittersweet, because Mama was one of his first words and his changing of my “title” makes me remember every time he says it how fast he’s becoming a big boy.

Yonked.com - new potty

Aaron with the new potty on his head

He’s developing his language skills so quickly; many words which were once one syllable are now almost full words – like “moke” to “mocycle” and “ap” to “apple.”  And he recognizes and can say the names of hundreds of objects in books and on iPad/iPod flashcards – yes, he’s quite the iPad/iPod whiz!

I know that someday Mommy will become Mom and then Ma – as in, “hey, Ma, can I have the keys to the car?”  But I want to hold on to these moments of growth and exploration forever.

Yonked.com - new trike

On the new "syche," with the new "hemet"

It was just a year ago today…

That at 4 am Stephanie started having contractions and writing them down, and we started the 15 hour process/adventure that ended at 7:08 pm with an emergency c-section and a young boy named Aaron Kyle.

And now he is 1! The year went by very very fast!

And here for your viewing entertainment only– some unedited unexpurgated first moments of Aaron’s life. Don’t worry all, the only nudity is baby nudity, and it is brief.

A long life filled with sorrow, hardship, and frustration.

I’m sorry to say that my son is in for a long life of hardship, sorrow,and frustration.

And I can’t do a thing about it.

You see, my son is more than likely going to be a Cubs fan.

His grandfather, his uncle, his great uncle, his cousins, and even sometimes his mom are all Cubs fans. And not just regular crazy Cubs fans. I’m talking dyed in the wool, wears Cubs underwear, watches every pitch, bought a house near the field so you can walk to the games kind of Cubs fans. And you know what that means.

Sorrow. Hardship. Frustration. (you can almost see it on his face now. Or is that spinach?)

His grampus gave him a cubs hat, and while we didn’t go to a game, or watch one on TV (I’m trying to limit the amount of tragedy that enters my household) I thought he could practice watching a cubs game.

I’ve attached the slide show below, but if that doesn’t work, try this url (you’ll also get my super observant titles of photographs if you visit the link)


Aaron and the Bumbo

Well, it looks like Aaron may have outgrown the bumbo seat– here’s his successful escape attempt using pluck, derring do, and a little bit of luck. It’s about 1.5 minutes long